Feminist Friday: Genital Slang Error


This Week in Ladybits

Ugh. A South Dakota legislator is claiming that the state needs to ban sex-selective abortions because Asians are moving into the state. Mother Jones tore this apart as the horrible racist nonsense that it is. (Hat tip to Dara for the heads-up.)

Meanwhile, Iowa is trying to make it legal for women to sue their doctors for “abortion regret,” oh, and they may be also trying to frighten doctors out of offering abortion services… Nah.

Maine State Representative Lawrence Lockman (R) is scrambling backwards as fast as he can to try to get away from his statement that if abortion is legal, rape should be too. His defense is pretty much that he said it years ago, so what’s the big deal? And don’t worry: he’s also said plenty of charming stuff about HIV and The Gay. (Thanks to Mary for the tip.)

And Virginia State Senator Stephen Martin (R) called pregnant women “hosts” for their fetuses. Martin says he was trying to be super funny and actually show how pro-choice advocates view women. Yes, Martin voted for mandatory ultrasounds.

Also in dispatches from the Virginia GOP: Virginia Republican Party treasurer (and former aide to Ken “The Cooch” Cuccinelli) Bob FitzSimmonds has apologized for — it appeared at the time —  calling a female political candidate a “sexist twat.”

Which is already awesomely weird, because how does that even work? But in the BEST REPORTING UPDATE EVER, FitzSimmonds explained that he was actually responding to a Facebook commenter who, in his opinion, was too into the candidate’s gender/female political candidates in general, which he thought was sexist. And he claims that he didn’t know what “twat” means and thought it meant “twaddle.” And you know what? I BELIEVE HIM.

Never let it be said that I am unfair to the GOP.

I believe, I truly believe that Bob FitzSimmonds has been innocently saying “twat” in parent-teacher conferences and during eulogies and at prayer breakfasts for his entire adult life. Both because his story actually seems plausible, given his original Facebook post, and because I WANT TO BELIEVE.

As you can see in the link, the Pilot Online is calling it a “genital slang error,” — you’re goddamned right I linked to it again; I will link to it all day long if I want to — which is nothing short of magical. (Rachel Maddow, I triple-dog dare you to cover this story on the air.)

And Mr. FitzSimmonds, I suggest you do a little brushing up lest you muff things again. You might want to start with Xeni Jardin’s 25 helpful synonyms for “Pussy Riot.

This Week in Thinky

The Mary Sue had an interesting, thoughtful look at the female characters in The Banner Saga and a look at women in the Viking sagas along the way.

Hillary Clinton spoke to students at NYU in support of her No Ceilings project and passed along some advice from Eleanor Roosevelt: Grow skin like a rhinoceros.

This Duke University freshman is performing in porn films to finance her $60,000 a year education. Her discussion of the way fellow students decided it was OK to treat her once word got out is disturbing. (Though, interestingly, much of her essay made me feel a little better about the time I spent clerking in an adult video store.)

And this interview with reporter, community organizer, and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant will inspire some mulling.

This Week in Ugh

What do you do if you’re a state legislator and a couple of public colleges assign books that you don’t like because they have The Gay in them? Cut their funding. Seriously: So much of the fuckery that’s happening lately is happening at the state level. Those races way down the election ballot matter. I wish more of us were voting in them and running for them. (Hat tip to Jerzeyredhead for the link.)

A scientific analysis revealed that female Oscar nominees averaged almost half an hour less screen time than male Oscar nominees. (Bring that up while you’re livetweeting the show with our own Dana Piccoli and friends this weekend.)

Say, is Bill O’Reilly still a sexist dingleberry? Spoiler: Yes.

Dames! There’s gotta be a downside to having one as President, right? Like what if there’s a nuclear war and she starts giving birth AND having her period and then a mouse comes in and she has to get up on the table and scream and then her cake falls and you gotta buy her a diamond ring to keep the peace, am I right, fellas?

Oh, and please, Mr. Loofah Lawsuit, tell us more about how dudes are inherently the best leaders.

And a judge in New York ruled that revenge porn isn’t quite illegal. Ugh.

This Week in Good

This year’s Olympics were problematic, but Olympic athletes can insulate girls against the insidious fetishization of “thigh gap.”

You doubtless heard about the anti-LGBT Arizona law that came perilously close to passing. Governor Jan Brewer, either deciding to do the bare minimum for being a decent human being or cynically counting up which side her state’s economic bread is buttered on, vetoed it Wednesday night.

But the objections didn’t just come from outside the state; Rocco’s Pizzeria in Tucson brought some righteous thumping.

And the amazing Janelle Monae will be voicing a character in Rio 2. Do I have to see the first one, or will I be able to catch up?

This Week in Awful

The Wall Street Journal ran a gut-wrenching article on punitive rape in rural India.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act into law. Among other penalties, such as prison time for failing to tell the police about gay people you know, the law mandates life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality.” The law is so brutal that the World Bank, Norway, and Denmark are all postponing or cutting financial aid to Uganda.

Aid from the United States is “under review,” seeing as we’re in an awkward position here. Let us be perfectly clear: This foul law is a direct result of work by American Evangelicals.

And back in the United States, Congress is grappling, to the extent that it does, with the problem of military sexual assault. (Props to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for really pushing on this issue.) MSNBC put faces to the ongoing crisis with a photo essay about some of the survivors.

This Week in Awesome

Oh, so much same-sex marrying is getting teed up. Cook County, Illinois got the go-ahead (more of a “Go ahead, already!”) from a judge months before the same-sex marriage law in Illinois was due to take effect — and that may open the door for clerks in the entire state to just go nuts with the marriage licenses.

And a federal judge ruled that the gay marriage ban in Texas — TEXAS! — is unconstitutional.

FF TXImage by Freedom to Marry via ThinkProgress on Twitter

The ruling is already stayed pending appeal, (I keep thinking about getting a tattoo that says “Stayed pending appeal.” Then one day I can explain it to all those marry-crazy whippersnappers with their hoverboards and their high-waisted bell-bottom pants and their weddings wherever they want.) but wow, such a great and hilarious step forward.

While we’re happy-dancing, the Oregon Department of Justice has announced that it will not be defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban because they are fantastic and oh, P.S., also fans of equal protection under the law.

Four-year-old Mayhem and her mother Angie have been bonding by making a paper dress together every day. It gets pretty cool. Can’t wait to see what Mayhem grows up to do.


FF Mayhem 2Images courtesy of Angie’s Instagram

And I know nothing about the card it’s advertising, but this commercial is well worth 30 seconds of your time.

Have a great weekend. Get out there and use your head.

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